HOUSTON - "I always fought for justice and I always told my story in hopes that others would not have to endure what I went through so that victims would not have to search for resources," said Megan, a sexual assault survivor.
Megan spoke at Rice University on Thursday about the lack of resources on college campuses for sexual assault victims, and how a new free service will help students at Houston's universities.
The service makes qualified sexual assault nurse examiners available on-demand to college students thanks to a new partnership between Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners and seven Houston-area universities.
Students will have free access to sexual assault examinations by a qualified interviewer including transportation to the interview, a sexual assault hotline, assistance with legal services, access to support groups, a tailor-made response for treatment.
Campus communities will also have access to future seminars on preventing sexual assault presented by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which is supporting the new program with $165,000 from forfeiture dollars.
"The fact that we still had these forensic interviews of these most sensitive cases being handled by police, who are not necessarily trained, is a gap in the system," DA Kim Ogg said.
The idea of the partnership was sparked by a University of Houston student creating this on-demand service.
Students tell FOX 26, they believe this issue is more pervasive than it’s believed to be.
"I think sexual assault is way bigger than the stories that are out there," said Kaelan Roche, a UH Student.
"I think it’s good, I think a lot of unspoken sexual assaults happen on college campus," said Precious Anyanwu, another UH Student.
The colleges and universities participating so far include Rice University, the University of Houston, Prairie View A&M, Houston Community College, Texas Southern University, Lee College, and the South Texas College of Law.
To reach the Texas Forensic Nurse Examiner Hotline, call (281) 306-6893.